The second season of Who spin-off Torchwood is nearly upon us! It starts airing on BBC Two on Wednesday 16 January. The same day, issue 166 of SFX goes on sale, which includes a seven-page Torchwood feature, complete with exclusive on-set photos.
To tide you over until then, we’re putting up a different Torchwood interview every day this week. On Monday it was Kai Owen ; on Tuesday, Gareth David-Lloyd . On Wednesday, head writer Chris Chibnall . Yesterday it was producer Richard Stokes . Oh, and you can catch our report on the press screening of the first episode here .
Today it’s the turn of Eve Myles, aka Gwen Cooper.
Tell us about episode nine [being filmed when the interview took place].
“It is a very funny episode, quite a light-hearted episode, but it is constantly going to be played for real y’know the bits where [CENSORED FOR SPOILERS], it’s terrifying, it’s frightening. So it’s gotta be frightening. If it doesn’t have the elements of it being frightening and for real then the comedy won’t work in it.”
Since episode nine is set on the day of your wedding to Rhys, can we assume that he still doesn’t know about Gwen’s affair with Owen?
“Erm... yes. Yeah, he doesn’t know anything about it.”
How does Gwen feel when Martha comes onboard? Is there rivalry or jealousy?
“No, not with Gwen. Because there’s an interest with Martha and Owen there’s more rivalry with Toshiko. No, Gwen’s really intrigued by her, and admires her because she’s evidently a very brave woman and she’s really good at her job, and Gwen admires that. She gets on very well with her.”
Does Gwen’s relationship with Jack go in a different direction this year?
“Yes. The subtext is huge, constantly, and it moves on a level. They give each other the space. He knows what she’s up to and she certainly knows what he’s up to in the Hub with... certain people. And that’s why they get on so well, that’s why they love each other so much, because they have a huge amount of respect and acceptance for one another.”
How would you say this series compares to the first series?
“I think it’s completely gone up a notch - sorry to make it sound so clichéd, but it really has! I think with sci-fi particularly you’ve constantly got to keep topping what you’ve done and make it more interesting and more real, and make it more aesthetically pleasing to watch. And I think that this series the characters become far more sculpted. We get to find out more about the characters other than being plonked in a situation and it’s about, y’know, a one-off episode. There’s a throughline for all the characters, they’re more established. Plus we’ve got great guest leads coming in, which is really exciting for us, and the scripts are constantly fantastic. Every time we get a script every two or three weeks, it’s like having a 50-minute film put in front of you - they’re so, so different but they all complement one another. So yes, I think it has moved up a notch. It’s faster, it’s pacier, it’s much funnier – although, of course, with the dark element as well. It’s just got everything in it, y’know. It’s a thriller, but the big thing about it that’s changed is that the characters have become more established in the second series.”
Is Gwen quite faithful to Rhys?
“Yes, yes she is [sounds disappointed]. Yes, she’s very good.”
Has she learnt her lesson, then?
“Personally I hope not! [laughs] But yeah, I think she has. I think she’s trying to cling on to the only thing that’s normal and that’s Rhys, the only thing that grounds her.”
Is she totally over Owen? There’s no edge to the fact that Martha’s getting on well with him?
“No, nothing at all. With Gwen and Jack - and I think this applies to the entire team - there’s an acceptance to people, and you just kind of get over it very quickly. But there are elements that you’ll see where you’ll find that there’s a little spark here and there. And that’s just within the playing of it - sometimes it’s not even in the script. But y’know, you can’t just drop something like that - you’ve got to bring that spark into it somewhere along the line again.”
Is the role more physical this time round?
“No. I train very hard. I trained before the job and during the job, just because my stamina has to be to the max and I have to be strong and I can’t afford to have any injuries cause I’m thrown here, I'm fighting there, rolling about. And I absolutely love that part of it – I can’t get enough of it! If there’s a fence I can jump over, I will jump over it. If there’s a train I can throw myself on, I will - I really enjoy it. But in the meantime you’ve gotta maintain fitness and keep on top of it. It’s constantly physical. You’re always running through streets or fighting some sort of thing that’s not there, or a man in a green suit pretending to be a monster. But that’s part of it and that’s the part I love.”
There was lots of friction between the members of the team last year, lots of fights - is that the same this year?
“This year it’s less an individual-to-individual-driven show. We’re more established now, we’re more of a team, so there’s a lot more to do for everybody and they work closer together as a team. I mean, there’s got to be some sort of friction because there’s great drama to get out of that, but generally they’re a lot tighter than what they were last year.”
Interviewer: Ian Berriman
And that’s the end of our Torchwood week! If you’ve enjoyed these free bits of Q&A, do us a favour, eh - pop into a newsagents on Wednesday and buy the new issue! Ta very much!